It was only a matter of time before a Lifetime movie picked up on the unlikely and very ironic Amish trend. Not to be outdone by TLC or Discovery, the network premiered An Amish Murder last night. It was based on a book titled Sworn to Silence. Even a melodramatic title like that wasn’t good enough for Lifetime. Since the movie’s IMDB page still calls it Sworn to Silence,
I know I’m guessing it was a last-minute change to pick up on the Amish trend. All we’re missing now is Real Housewives of Amish Country, a rather redundant title.
I went into this movie with high expectations, thinking it would be another scandalous look at the Amish lifestyle. But I found it to be pretty boring. You might be thinking, “What did you expect from a story about the Amish?” However, I’m speaking as a frequent viewer of the scandal-a-minute Breaking Amish and a person who is aware a show called Amish Mafia exists. I know those Amish aren’t as simple as they’d have us believe, at least according to TV. I’m also a person with a very high threshold for boring stuff. I once wrote a paper about a three-hour Belgian film detailing every moment of a housewife’s day, so that should give you some perspective.
The whole movie is pretty blah, starting from the beginning. The most exciting part of the movie, at least for me, was Neve Campbell‘s fur hat, which she manages to wear better than even Sonja Morgan.
Neve Campbell’s character, Kate, is the chief of police in an area that includes Amish people. She herself “broke Amish” at age 18, and, authentic to Breaking Amish lore, she’s shunned by the community, including her own brother. Apparently even Lifetime got bored of the movie, because they cast Christian Campbell, Neve’s real brother, in the role. His beard is almost as fake-looking as Lindsay Lohan‘s wig as old Elizabeth Taylor. (Still not over it.)
Kate starts investigating the murder of an Amish girl, which she suspects is linked to a ’90s murderer called the Slaughterhouse Killer. Another ’90s serial killer? When this network has an idea, they really run it into the ground.
Everything after this was kind of a yawn-fest for me. It all just seemed so predictable, even for Lifetime. There was none of that twist-and-turn style I’m used to with this network. When Kate reveals that she left the Amish because (spoiler alert) she killed her rapist, there isn’t even any dramatic swelling music, and Campbell delivers the lines with such little power that I almost missed them.
I found my mind wandering during the final part of the film. When Kate’s love interest (Noam Jenkins) kisses her after she pours her heart out, and then again after she gets fired from her job, all I was thinking was how often Lifetime men use women’s sadness as excuses to make out with them. When Kate realizes she should have asked the Alaska police to search for murders involving “bleeding out” instead of the fancier “exsanguination,” I just kept thinking “bleedin’ out” would probably bring up more results. When it’s finally revealed that (spoiler alert) the killer is the sheriff (C. Thomas Howell), all I could think was how Ponyboy didn’t stay so gold after all.
Now Neve Campbell is telling me this show “has really good potential” to be a TV series?! Out of all the Lifetime movies? Not even Merry In-Laws? As someone who enjoyed The Client List (the movie) than most people should, I know that An Amish Murder doesn’t have even close to the same amount of TV show potential.
Maybe I’ve been spoiled by movies like Virtual Lies and Stalked at 17, but I expect a little more melodrama with my Lifetime movies, and An Amish Murder didn’t deliver. I’m giving TLC the lead in the Amish TV programming competition. The ball’s in your court, Bravo. Are you reading this, Andy Cohen?